Catcher in Rye

Topics: Scotland, Robert Burns, Undergarment Pages: 2 (387 words) Published: June 12, 2013
The poem "Comin Thro the Rye" by Robert Burns may be best-known today because of Holden Caulfields's misinterpretation of it in The Catcher in the Rye. In the book, Caulfield relates his fantasy to his sister, Phoebe: he's the "catcher in the rye," rescuing children from falling from a cliff. Phoebe corrects him, pointing out that poem is not about a "catcher" in the rye, but about a girl who has met someone in the rye for a kiss (or more), got her underclothes wet (not for the first time), and is dragging her way back to a polite (i.e., Puritanical) society that despises girls who are "easy." Robert Burns, an honest man, was exhibiting empathy for girls who were castigated for doing what all the boys and men longed to do themselves. 

Comin Thro the Rye
by Robert Burns
modern English translation by Michael R. Burch

O, Jenny's a' weet, poor body,                 Oh, Jenny's all wet, poor body, Jenny's seldom dry;                                  Jenny's seldom dry; She draigl't a' her petticoattie                    She's draggin' all her petticoats Comin thro' the rye.                                 Comin' through the rye. 

Comin thro the rye, poor body,               Comin' through the rye, poor body, Comin thro the rye,                                 Comin' through the rye.  She draigl't a'her petticoatie,                    She's draggin' all her petticoats Comin thro the rye!                                 Comin' through the rye. 

Gin a body meet a body                          Should a body meet a body Comin thro the rye,                                 Comin' through the rye, Gin a body kiss a body,                          Should a body kiss a body, Need a body cry?                                   Need anybody cry?

Comin thro the rye, poor body,               Comin' through the rye, poor body, Comin thro the rye,                                 Comin' through the rye.  She draigl't a'her petticoatie,                    She's draggin'...
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